ETHICS OPINION 314
NUMBER 314 1933
Question. The Commercial Law League has made the following ruling:
In the handling of so-called retail and noncommercial accounts lawyers are invited to consider the following section from the Rules and Regulations of the Supervising Collection Service Department of the National Retail Credit Association issued in September, 1930:
“On all consumer accounts forwarded the rate of commission shall be fifty percent with the usual division of two-thirds to the forwardee and one-third to the forwarder, unless special arrangements are made between the forwarder and the forwardee at the time the claim is forwarded. On all claims forwarded on other than the regular fifty percent basis, the forwarder shall state the net commission to be allowed the forwardee, and if such commission is not satisfactory the forwardee must immediately, and within forty-eight hours after receipt thereof, return the claim to the forwarder.”
Is there anything professionally improper in the acceptance of employment by a lawyer under the terms and conditions above stated?
Answer. The Committee understands that the phrases “retail and noncommercial accounts” and “consumer accounts” refer to classes of claims and collections designated as “commercial” in Canons 34 and 35 of the American Bar Association, and accordingly, in the opinion of the Committee, employment in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in the question is permitted by said Canons. Since these Canons, however, may be subject to revision in the light of discussion now pending, the Committee reserves the right to state its views in respect to them when and if the occasion arises.